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Friday Night Ride to the Coast: Whitstable

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  • Andrij Bebko
    What else is there to do on a Friday night but ride to the coast? :) Come along for the penultimate FNRttC for 2008 as we head out to Whitstable. We will
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 5 8:09 AM
      What else is there to do on a Friday night but ride to the coast? :)

      Come along for the penultimate FNRttC for 2008 as we head out to Whitstable.  We will depart from Hyde Park Corner (under the arch in the middle of the roundabout) at midnight, stop in Rochester around 3AM for 'elevenses' and work our way to Whitstable for a fry-up and trains back home.

      Pre-registration is a must.  Email your name, mobile number and CTC/LCC/AUK/BC number to simon_legg AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk.  Try to do so by Thursday. 

      Read more about FNRttC here: http://fnrttc.blogspot.com/2008/04/heres-basics.html
      And about this particular ride here: http://www.anothercyclingforum.com/index.php?topic=50989.0

      Hope to see you on Friday!

      Andrij
    • Andrij Bebko
      It was a lovely ride. :) I was going to write up a short ride report to give you a feel for the ride, but the organiser has done a much better job. Quoted
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 12 12:21 PM
        It was a lovely ride. :)

        I was going to write up a short ride report to give you a feel for the ride, but the organiser has done a much better job.  Quoted with Simon's permission...


        I thought that an excellent ride. A credit to Jurek and Adam who did the recces and then organised the front end. Sitting at the back is hugely enjoyable, watching the lights flashing along the Embankment, encouraging Brian and Des to beat a red, or, later in the night, seeing a string of flashing bulbs stretch up a hill a mile distant after we'd stopped to allow Adam to chase down a perfect stranger and make him an offer he felt able to refuse.....

        A late start, which probably cost me my reputation as a soothsayer of arrival times, but, from the off, the FNTttC machine swung into action - every turn attended by a rider pointing the way, calls between front and back, the neatly contrived stop in More London, and collecting at Deptord, Blackheath and Shooters Hill - all combining to make this the kind of ride that you can relax into, rather than worry about. TimO and I had little to do other than admire the scenery, and chat (about what I can't recall) until, just on the upslope of Shooters Hill a broken gear cable forced a (self declared) retirement.

        Bexleyheath, Crayford and Dartford came and went, distinguished one from another only by the lack of wit coming from southeast London comics sporting more lubricant in their hair than most bike chains. The ride went through a qiet patch after Dartford; if you've done nineteen miles in the suburbs, the twentieth to twentysixth miles are probably a bit wearing. I did enjoy the fog in Crayford, but, equally, a mile of it was quite enough, thankyou.

        We stopped in Gravesend, and people affected interest in Architecture for a minute or so, which was sweet, and then, off into the byways of the North Kent marshes, following Jurek's impeccably researched route, running through villages lent a charm by darkness that daylight denies them.

        Into Strood, up hill, and then down to the most glorious view over the Medway, down to the water, past the becalmed Soviet (not Russian) submarine, and into Andy's Cafe.

        It's always nice to be appreciated, but I thought the two young women intent on what clearly passes for a round of applause in the Medway towns might have been taking things a bit too far - nice of them though to be so impressed by our bums. Having barred the front entrance to interlopers at the front, poor Kieron had to deal with drunks tottering down the steps at the back. Notwithstanding, the pre-wrapped bacon sandwiches, the steady supply of tea, the hastily rustled up birthday cake (for which JT has to thank Lynsey) - all hit the spot.

        We got the post elevenses chill (it's always hits us on the exit from Gatwick) and Jurek did a great job of keeping the ride moving, despite a couple of mechanical breaks. Our second excursion on to the marshes was as good as the first. And then...an interlude. Adam saw a rider heading off in the wrong direction. We stopped at the roundabout, as he hared off to chase him down. Four minutes later he returned. Apparently the man insisted that he'd never heard of the Friday Night Ride to the Coast, and that he was on his way to work. Pshaww! As if!.

        We bombed off in pursuit of the main ride, only to come across a couple of punctures. Clive's was a doosy! That man's rear tyre is tighter than a cat's arse. And, as any fule kno, getting a sticky innertube up a cat's arse is no easy matter. Second time around (they come in a red packet, Clive) we succeeded, and shot off again, only to find another puncture party convening half a mile along the road. The FNRttC machine swung into place - I decided to split the puncture posse, now nine strong, in half and asked Young Farrell to set off in the first group. She said she'd rather wait until her bike was fixed......

        Through Sittingbourne your correspondent exercised some pretty stern TEC powers, dissuading white van men and articulated inarticulates from overtaking. And then...the ride to Faversham. This is an enchanting road - it's not bad by day - but heading into the pink dawn light it's heavenly. There are views to Essex (Janie K was getting wistful) and lines of poplars running like palings on the horizon. From time to time the road ahead went between stands of trees, and the riders turned to silhouettes against the sky. There were some tired legs; the tiredest belonged to our Shooters Hill retiree, who had plugged on to Rochester on his own, and rejoined the ride, using only two (not particularly well chosen) gears. We stopped at the church in Faversham, admiring the extravagant tower, before heading back on to the marshes.

        Brian looked pretty shaken up after his off. I'm astonished that he rode home. He clearly is (as he said later) a stubborn old bugger. But stubborn old buggers are what distinguish the CTC from mere cycling clubs. Bravo!

        And then the sheep in a misty field. Difficult to describe, other than to say that if Carlsberg did dawn light.......Cameras came out. I've got a notion that Mike took the pictures he took with a grin on his face because he relished showing them to the four bed and breakfasters who decided they'd rather spend the night in the warm than on the road. We took our time, counting on the queue for breakfast taking its time, and getting into Whitstable ten minutes after the main bunch, we timed it right. Brian was already there, and sitting down to Ibuprofen and coffee. People gave me lots of pound coins, and headed off in groups to the railway station, or down the Crab and Winkle Way. A fishing boat made it's way out from the harbour, red sail barely filling.  I called Mrs L from Tim's phone, and she came to collect me. We said our goodbyes, and drove off to Deal.

        2008/10/5 Andrij Bebko <abebko@...>
        What else is there to do on a Friday night but ride to the coast? :)

        Come along for the penultimate FNRttC for 2008 as we head out to Whitstable.  We will depart from Hyde Park Corner (under the arch in the middle of the roundabout) at midnight, stop in Rochester around 3AM for 'elevenses' and work our way to Whitstable for a fry-up and trains back home.

        Pre-registration is a must.  Email your name, mobile number and CTC/LCC/AUK/BC number to simon_legg AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk.  Try to do so by Thursday. 

        Read more about FNRttC here: http://fnrttc.blogspot.com/2008/04/heres-basics.html
        And about this particular ride here: http://www.anothercyclingforum.com/index.php?topic=50989.0

        Hope to see you on Friday!

        Andrij

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